Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dark Days: Meal 6

Turkey left over from the 31-pound Thanksgiving bird we butchered at our friend Mike Klein's farm in nearby Prince George's County. Here some dark meat is piled on a thick slice of yeasted sweet-potato bread (using sweet potatoes from our CSA package), smeared with mayo and gingered cranberry relish. Everything is then smothered with giblet gravy. In the background is a simple salad composed of the many lettuce varieties, arugula, mizuna and baby mustard greens we have growing in the garden.

The sweet potato bread is from Bill Neal's classic Biscuits, Spoonbread, and Sweet Potato Pie.

To make two loaves in standard loaf pans (9 x 5 x 3 inches):

2 pkg. dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

1 cup milk

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cup mashed, cooked, cold sweet potatoes

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup rolled, uncooked oats

Dissolve dry yeast in warm water.

Heat milk with sugar and salt, stirring until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Cream butter and sweet potatoes well. Add dissolved yeast, milk mixture and then all dry ingredients. Beat very well, then turn out onto a floured surface. Knead vigorously until satiny, about 10 minutes.

Place dough in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down and divide into two portions. Roll into loaf shapes and place in greased loaf pans. Cover and allow to rise about 1 hour or until doubled.

Before baking, glaze the loaves with 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons milk. Place loaves in a 400-degree oven and bake 45 minutes. They should emerge a deep honey color.

Note: These loaves can also be braided before placing in the loaf pans.

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